Free visits: a strategy to retain patients and improve continuity in a residency program.
(Clinical Trial;Journal Article)
All family practice residencies attempt to offer continuity experience to residents and patients as part of their model practices. However, every year one third of the most experienced resident providers leave the practice to be replaced by new, inexperienced residents. This study reports a randomized controlled trial in which a sample of reassigned patients was offered a free visit with their new physician. The free visit was a scheduled appointment with the patient's newly assigned physician during a two-month period for the purpose of meeting the new physician. The offer of a free visit succeeded in helping patients make the initial office contact with their new physician. However, during six months of follow-up the free visit offer did not have an impact on visit frequency or primary provider continuity. In this study the reassignment of patients to new physician providers did not affect overall visit frequency, but did have a negative impact on primary provider continuity.
Warshaw, G; Gehlbach, SH; Warburton, SW
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